Mountain Mayhem: RMI35 | AspenTimes.com

Mountain Mayhem: RMI35

Founded in 1982, Rocky Mountain Institute is headquartered in Basalt with offices in Boulder; New York City; Washington, D.C.; and Beijing. An independent, nonpartisan nonprofit, it now has approximately 170 full-time staff, annual operations of $35 million and a global reach and reputation. Their efforts include transforming global energy use to create a clean, prosperous and secure low-carbon future.

They marked a 35th anniversary this month with three significant events at the Basalt campus — starting with a board meeting Aug. 2, an inaugural Energy Innovation Summit on Aug. 3, followed by RMI35, a benefit evening.

The Energy Innovation Summit served as a unique gathering for a "dream team" of 60 energy experts and thought leaders to contribute to a robust conversation about the global energy transition, moderated by The New York Times' columnist Tom Friedman. President Bill Clinton arrived for a surprise visit, touring RMI's Innovation Center, meeting with staff, joining the Summit luncheon, and offering an anniversary congratulations on camera for an upcoming video.

After the conclusion of the Energy Innovation Summit, all shifted to a celebratory mode, welcoming an additional 100 longtime RMI friends, partners and supporters to the RMI35 event — made possible thanks to the generous sponsorship of evening hosts listed on RMI's website, including individuals, companies and foundations many of whom have a long history with RMI. An armchair conversation with RMI co-founder and chief scientist Amory Lovins and Tom Friedman "offered an inspirational message and validated that our collective work is more urgent than ever, and there is no better organization to get it done," noted managing director Marty Pickett. Dinner followed in tents overlooking the meadow and Roaring Fork River with riveting dialogue at each table, no doubt.

Overall, these events helped raise awareness of the important work by RMI, not to mention pull significant funds through philanthropic and collaborative commitments. To learn more about RMI, visit http://www.rmi.org.

Contact May with insights, invites or info: allthewaymaymay@hotmail.com